Orlando, FL. January 11, 2018 - Commuters drive past the sky-blue RP logo on Maitland Boulevard daily, radio listeners tune into Robert Palmer's show "Saving Thousands" on 96.5 FM, and sports fans regularly see television commercials highlighting RP Funding's unique "no lender fees" pricing model.
On January 10th, 2018, RP Funding celebrated its tenth year helping homeowners save thousands of dollars on their mortgage - and they've kicked off the celebration by making their "No Closing Costs" promotion a permanent fixture.
"This was never supposed to be permanent," says Palmer, who is the founder and CEO of RP Funding. "It started as a little social experiment. Instead of using our advertising budget for marketing like we've done in the past, I decided to take that budget - $2.5 million total - and use it to pay our consumers' closing costs. My idea was that, with a promise to pay all closing costs, in addition to our no lender fees promise, word of mouth from our customers would be so significant that we would recuperate our investment from our growing servicing portfolio."
After just one year of offering to pay closing costs without lender fees, RP Funding saw an unprecedented $10 million return on Palmer's original $2.5 million investment. This business model is a culmination of his dream of providing future homeowners with a level of value that was once non-existent in the mortgage industry.
"I started this business at a time when the housing market was at its worst," Palmer continues. "Amid all the chaos, other lenders were finding hundreds of ways to squeeze money out of consumers' pockets. Lender fees, processing fees, origination fees - they go by dozens of names. We strived to offer something different: a competitive rate with no tricks. We didn't build this brand by maximizing our bottom line; we simply did what we felt was right. This sounds like common sense, but in the early years, I was a running joke in the mortgage industry. No one thought our model was sustainable without lender fees. To recoup our profit margin, we would have to close five - or even 10 - times more loans than the average broker."
RP Funding has since opened two additional branches - RP Funding Lakeland and RP Funding Jacksonville - and plans to expand to other states.
In addition to their no closing costs guarantee, RP Funding also provides additional real estate-related services for homeowners through other companies under the Robert Palmer Companies umbrella. Both RP Title and Escrow and Security National Title and Escrow, for example, provide title insurance without the need for a third party or middleman. For sellers looking for an accurate valuation of their home, HomeValue.com instantly puts homeowners in touch with a local real estate expert. Other Robert Palmer companies include Listing Power Tools, which creates single-property print and digital marketing materials for agents, and the appraisal management company ARMR.
"I never doubted that we would be in business for 10 years if consumers gave us a chance," says Palmer. "Now that we've hit that mark, I'm already looking forward to our 20, 30, and 100-year anniversaries. We're not going anywhere. We plan on being around for a long, long time."